Why there’s so much more to Green Houses than ripening tomatoes..

All the boho outdoor living I’ve been doing this summer has really got under my skin and despite the fact that September is on the horizon I’m still not quite ready to give up all ideas of it. So my thoughts have  been tuned into how can I prolong this outdoor living/dining experience.

I was  musing on this subject recently whilst watering my tomato plants and  was reminded of how hard it was last year getting them to turn red, we definitely need a green house I thought.

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We’ve got just the spot ready and waiting where a past Greenhouse must have once stood, so I decided to do a little research on them.

I was imagining something beautiful and period in style, so I did a little google search on Victorian style green houses  and what did I find..

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Alitex

Okay so those are lemons not Tomatoes but THAT is a dining table with a chandelier, albeit a bit on the small side for my taste but it got me thinking so further investigation was required..

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Who knew?

I’d never really considered a green house as a dining space, but apparently many others had! By now I’m hooked and a full on Pinterest search followed…

I just love the bohemian, thrown together vibe of this one, who couldn’t sit for hours chatting over a boozy lunch here .. just shows that apart from a little imagination, how much more do you need?

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And although again, I would love to see larger and lower chandeliers in here, guess you know me and my thoughts on chandeliers by now, I love how a pretty standard aluminum greenhouse is turned into something rather special don’t you? I mean ghost chairs, I’m starting to get ‘design goosebumps’!!

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This beauty is by Alitex  and is pretty substantial by most standards, but how beautiful, all made in the UK and bespoke..

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but they do come in all shapes and sizes..

Alitex, Swaffer greenhouse, Arundel 10.8.07
Alitex, Swaffer greenhouse

When you think about it there are so many possibilities…who wouldn’t love a summer kitchen or winter come to that,  like this?

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A bathroom perhaps ? Okay maybe this is a step too far but pretty cool if you live in the woods!

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But who needs tomatoes anyway?

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‘She shed’ anyone?

She shed
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Phew! after all that I am now on the brink of completely justifying the investment of said glasshouse as not only a fabulous way of getting red tomatoes and lots of other fine produce but as the perfect elegant boho dining space and as I said, I have just the spot, crying out for it!

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I am imagining a pathway lit by lanterns leading my guests up to this pop up dining space. Green Egg barbecue close by methinks..

All that remains is to convince himself not just of the endless possibilities but the actual necessity of the investment. Think I will open up the bifold doors tonight, light the candles, load up with a few dozen extra plants from the garden centre, fire up the barbie and set the scene. This could of course be a bit counter productive as I might just end up creating the effect I am trying to sell in… Hmmm well you can’t see the stars through our kitchen/dining space roof and we sure as hell aren’t going to get the tomatoes red in there plus there is so much more to a green house than ripening tomatoes and I intend to prove it! 

However this probably could turn out to be a bit of a long term dream project so in the meantime I will continue to Pin Greenhouse images over on my dedicated Pinterest board, go check it out…and would love to know of any other gorgeous green houses out there. Do you know or have a gorgeous glass house to share? Tell us all about it…

 

 

THE 4 KEY ELEMENTS TO CREATING STUNNING DINING ROOM DECOR

There’s so much to love about winter, even if our’s is acting up a bit strangely this year, whats going on? I love the ‘nest building’ instinct I feel in winter and the snuggling up inside cosy luxe spaces, if you love interiors being INSIDE is what is all about isn’t it? So I embrace the ‘coming home’ and love being inside more than ever. Now its nearing the end of January I reckon its time to start climbing off ‘the wagon’ a tad, not that I really was ever on it to be fair and enjoy a bit of comfort food in comforting dining spaces. So this week, off I went to a fab restaurant in trendy Brick Lane. Entered via a women’s clothing shop, yes its at the back of a shop, only in E1, it’s aptly named ‘Back in 5 minutes‘, a great retro interior, (can’t beat a bit of restaurant inspo) and even better food, it’s my new favourite place. It’s run by a wonderful innovative company called Disappearing Dining, which had me thinking about the disappearing dining room….

Most of us these days have done away with the separate dining room, opting instead for the more flexible living of an open plan kitchen or living room/dining space. As much as this makes perfect sense to me, I do mourn the loss of the separate dining room, because it offers so much potential and license to really ‘let your hair down’ creatively. It doesn’t have to be old fashioned and formal, I like to think of my dining room as informally formal, if that makes sense. Its the perfect space as far as I’m concerned to marry drama, glamour and comfort and achieve magic in a way that’s probably slightly ‘over the top’ for every day rooms. If you are lucky enough to still have the addition of a separate dining room, then it makes sense to make the most of the luxury of this fast disappearing room and even if you don’t, I think you can still use some of the same ingredients to vamp up your dining area, why not? There’s no reason why it needs to look like an extension of your kitchen, in fact I don’t think it should. Make the most of a great opportunity to be bold, dramatic and delectable in the dining room! If you do, you will be surprised how much more you will start wanting to use it and how delighted by it your guests will be, it definitely creates a sense of occasion. My sister won’t even enter without a Tiara, seriously! Ok she is my little sister and has never really quite grown up, i.e. she’s still pinching my stuff! and it’s not a real Tiara, just part of a stash of junk jewellery props I keep for those feeling the need to ‘dress up’, but still its significant!  There are 4 key elements that I would always be sure to include to create a stunning but comfortable space that will have your guests begging for more…

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1. BE DRAMATIC!

Colour, pattern, scale and bling.

Create drama and be bold with colour and/or pattern.  Create ambiance with dark moody colours that you may not want to use in other areas of the house, these are spectacular at night which is when you will most often use the room. I’ve used a deep Blue over Anaglypta wallpaper which gives a lovely subtle texture to the room.

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Take inspiration from glamorous restaurant dining rooms that go all out for impact. I love the fun but glam jungle element of the Blanchette, Soho and the elegant gallery walls of Berner’s Tavern, Fitzrovia.

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Add large scale elements for maximum impact. Check out the elegant mural walls of the fabulous Turandot Restaurant in Moscow, the same effect could be created with large scale wallpaper such as this gorgeous ‘dark floral’ by Ellie Cashman and Surface View do some amazing wall murals that you could get really creative with.

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Nothing adds drama quite like an oversized chandelier, apart from two oversized chandeliers! Don’t be tempted to pull back on size, whatever size you think are big enough, go bigger! hang them low over the table these will create the biggest wow factor, trust me. Look how even in this relatively small black dining room the size still works as well as in the incredible baccarat chandeliers, in the Cristal room, Paris, designed by Philippe Starck, I’ve got to visit this place, marvellous!

2. RELAX THAT LUXE!

Furs, skins, velvet & wood.

Whilst you want  to create the drama and glamour of a fabulous restaurant, its important to keep it relaxed and luxe, this is after all your home. Do this by balancing the grandeur of colour and scale you have added with soft tactile fabrics such as wool or velvet, animal hides and sheepskins, leather and suede. I think curtains are a must for adding opulence but make sure they are draped and full, lying in puddles on the floor to give a soft and informal feel. Likewise add rugs, especially hides and sheepskins and rustic wood elements perhaps the table or raw untreated floor boards? the layering of contrasting luxe fabrics and finishes with these more organic textures will keep the vibe relaxed rather uptight and formal.

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Another way to keep a more laid back feel is to mix different dining chairs, be sure to keep them all fairly neutral or in the same colour so you are mixing shapes only or it can become a coloured mish mash! Using fabric covers over chairs, a varied blend of soft cushions in contrasting fabrics or unusual seating such as benches or small sofas are a great way to mix it up and add a relaxed boho vibe.

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3. RAMP UP THE AMBIENCE

Lights, candles and fires.

Now all your dramatic, stylish and laid back luxe dining room needs, is a touch of ambience. If you can get your lights on a dimmer, great. If not make sure you choose warm white bulbs with a kelvin value of 2500 or below, which is nearer a warm candle light, the higher you go the cooler the light, so move in the downward direction. Add several table and/or floor lamps to create atmospheric areas of light. Put candles and tea lights pretty much anywhere you can fit them and if you have a fireplace then use it, even if it means turning off the radiators because it’s too warm, there’s nothing like a fire to create ambience. If your fireplace is non-working you can always add a mass of different height candles instead or you could add a bio burner,which does’t require an open flue and looks very realistic, watch out for a forthcoming post on these.

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4. REFLECT & ADMIRE.

Mirrors, Art and Accessories.

Reflect all that wonderful warm light you now have using plenty of mirrors. You could go all out and install a mirrored panel wall. These look great, especially if antiqued, Rough Old Glass make hand silvered antiqued mirror to bespoke sizes. Alternatively seek out individual mirrors, large and small, in different shapes and periods from antique flea markets and auctions or check out Ayers & Graces for a range of styles and sizes. Go from over sized to tiny, the array of sizes will add an eclectic feel, keeping it elegant but laid back. Same goes for art add a mix of sizes and styles but keep the look cohesive by keeping the frames in the same colour. Adding some fun Continue reading THE 4 KEY ELEMENTS TO CREATING STUNNING DINING ROOM DECOR